Tuesday, August 25, 2015


I am thinking about starting to go up to the mountains and hike again in September.  I decided to play with some of the images from my paintings and the verse from Emerson. I'm not sure which image I like best. The first painting shows the view from Mount Willard (2865 ft) in the Crawford Notch area. This was not a difficult hike and it is mostly inside the woods until you get out to the ledges and can see the magnificent view of the roads below and the presidential mountains in the distance. (White Mountains of New Hampshire)

Each image reminds me of a hike and how hard it is to go up, but the effort is always worth it. The second image was from a loop hike around Mounts Morgan and Percival.  This one was much harder and longer, but I was glad my daughter was with us and showed us how to climb over some of the boulders.  There were campers on top Mount Percival. The view was of the Squam Lakes in the distance. (Holderness area)

As I recall, this was not a difficult hike either. This third image is of Barrett Mountain in the Monadnocks area (southwestern New Hampshire). We couldn't really see Mount Monadnock from this site, but it was an enjoyable hike and we had a picnic on the rocks.

If you haven't had a chance to view my Fall Newsletter, you can click on the tab on the top right.  I think you will enjoy it.  As always, you can click on an image to enlarge it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Finishing up the month of August

It has been a busy month, but I finished up two small paintings.
Spring Magnolias at Wagner Park

After a long winter, I rode my bike one spring day to this park. It's real name is "Wagner Park" but the locals also call it "Pretty Park".  Many artists go there for some plein air painting, sometimes with models.

I was more interested in the blossoms than the "temple" structure at the park. It felt good to be out and about without boots and winter clothes.

This painting is mixed media, as I started in acrylic, then finished in oils. It is 9" X 12" on Ampersand panel.  I enjoyed painting on the panel as a nice change from canvas.

Morning Glory

I also like to paint on a black background from time to time, especially flowers.  I used black gesso on a canvas board to start this one, but eventually had to add some black paint when I was finishing up.

I usually see blue morning glories in the summer, but this one I spotted on my walk was white with just a touch of color.  The vines were growing down from the fence post as well as around it.

8" X 10", oil painting on canvas board.

I'm not sure when I'll start back on the larger paintings, but I prepared a little color study with acrylic paint on canvas paper.  This one is not a real place, just a combination of images in my head, from sunsets to beaches, maybe a jetty sticking out into the ocean. I liked the colors.

I signed up for another oil painting class that starts next month. I'm hoping that will get me to loosen up a little bit. The class is called "Explore, Exploit, Express".  I liked the title and the description: A visual art studio course designed and developed to: “get your drawing and painting beyond the mundane and mechanical cliché!”  This is a link to the NHIA catalog.

Meanwhile I'm getting ready to celebrate the wedding of my middle son at the end of this month. It will be my first time as "mother of the groom" and I'm looking forward to dancing and celebrating. That will be a good way to end the month.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Traveling and Landscapes

I finished my painting from our June trip to Canada. Athabasca River, oil painting on stretched canvas, 16" X 20". My website now offers T shirts, tote bags and some other items as well as cards and prints. Fine Art America has partnered with Pixels.com to print these items.  This view of the river is right before the water falls. I loved the trip to the Canadian Rockies (Alberta) and will probably paint more views from my photos. (Click on image to enlarge)

Meanwhile, my son's band was playing on a boat in Portland, Maine. I had never done a harbor cruise before and this was great. I've been to Portland many times (great museum there as well as fine restaurants and interesting downtown), but just cruising around watching the boats, old forts, lighthouses was very enjoyable.

Portland Harbor is also an oil painting on 16" X 20" stretched canvas. I enjoyed working with these colors too, quite a change from the colors in the Athabasca River painting.  This is the first time I've attempted an oil painting of a harbor with boats. I liked the way it came out. I did a small acrylic study of the sailboat first (image below). Then I decided I liked it enough to attempt a larger painting, but I liked the full scene for the larger painting, not just the sailboat.

Portland Harbor study, 8" X 10", acrylic on canvas board. I find that I'm enjoying working with the water mixable oil paints more as I get used to them, but I still like the acrylics too. Many times I use the acrylic paints as an underpainting. That helps me with colors as well as composition.  In composing the scene for the larger harbor painting, I moved the small boat in front from my photo (using scissors and tape on my printout, not Photoshop!) and placed it off center. The original photo showed it too centered for me. I also print out my photos in black and white as well as color. That helps me both with composition and values (light/dark).

In between the serious paintings, I also played with paints, trying a night scene on paper.
Night Study, acrylic paint on Strathmore acrylic paper. This one just came out of my imagination and some views I had seen on the internet. While Manchester (NH, my home town) is on a river, it certainly doesn't look like this, day or night!  I liked the way the sky came out, but that's about it for this painting.

Then I tried a self portrait, using the water mixable oil paints again, this time on Arches Oil paper. The nice thing about doing a self portrait is that I could make myself look much younger. The hard thing was mixing the colors. I need to learn how to make shadows better with these paints. Anyway, it was a fun experiment and I learn something new each time I paint. I'm just posting a little clip of this one here as I really don't like the full portrait.

By coincidence, thinking about my last posting on titles, Jason Horejs posted a good video on the same topic recently.  http://reddotblog.com/art-marketing-minute-video-creating-compelling-titles-for-your-artwork/

I bought a used pochade box (portable paint box) from an artist friend. These are very expensive to buy new, but I wanted one for plein air painting (painting outside). I would like to practice a bit before our next trip to Israel (next year). We will be staying at Ein Hod (an artist's village) for a full month and I plan on painting outside, not just from photos. I definitely need more practice with that. I've tried it out in my studio, but not outdoors yet. Looking forward to that too.